The 2001 lady Dinos are the 2001 Dutch National Team. The resemblance is uncanny. In both cases, the talent pool is amazing. Striker Katie Lee led the conference with 12 goals in Kluivert-esque fashion. Midfielders Jessie Norrie, Leanne Pelosi and Laura Stinson controlled the flow of the game with such precision it would make the de Boer brothers blush and Clarence Seedorf do a double take. Hema Chengkalath is taller than Edgar Davids and keeper Taryn Swiatek is better than Edwin van der Sar. Even Sarah Dunlop, who plays everywhere on the field, can find a double in Roy Makaay or Phillip Cocu.
Can't fault anyone for not trying. The Dutch played with true desperation in Dublin and lost, just as the Dinos played with blinding intensity in Edmonton and managed the same result. Calgary gave consistent effort all season long and were seldom outhustled by any other team.
Head Coach Robin "Slot Machine" Slot is among the very best, he's even Dutch. However, Slot looked for offence all season long and never found any. The Dinos had scoring-phobia for much of the season and Slot never got his team to explode offensively. Aside from Lee, the Dinos lacked a true striker and despite his efforts Slot did not manage to develop one from a deep talent pool.
It's mindblowing that with all their talent, the Dutch didn't qualify for the World Cup and the Dinos didn't qualify for nationals. Ireland? Trinity Western? Seriously. The Dinos were knocked out in the conference semis by Trinity in a game where Swiatek actually let in three goals. The Dinos never let in three goals. It was mind blowing. These things just aren't supposed to happen.
This team had a chance to win the national title, but didn't even make the conference final. While the Dinos gave their fans an exciting and eventful season, the end result was not what anyone expected.
Calgary should have made the conference title game where they would have faced Alberta, the eventual national champs. Instead, they lost to Trinity, the Dutch lost to Ireland and the infinitely talented teams didn't even make it out of their group.
Professional wrestler this team reminds me of: Mr. Perfect. With the name comes obligation. However, Mr. Perfect hasn't been perfect since his run as Intercontinental Champion in the early 1990s, even though he still does his behind the back towel toss and bats his chewing gum into the crowd.